Iranian Hostage Released

A02537691.jpg An Iranian soldier who was abducted by bandits in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan last July was freed by Iranian troops on Friday, an informed source said. The source told FNA that the soldier had been freed along with a Belgian national who was taken hostage in a separate incident.

The freed soldier was taken hostage along with one of his comrades during armed clashes between Iranian troops and a gang of bandits in an area called Kourin on July 19. 11 troops of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were martyred during the cross fire and two soldiers were abducted by the gang members.

Efforts continue to set the second soldier free.

The Belgian national, Stefaan Boeve, who was also freed on Friday had been kidnapped by bandits in a separate incident last month.

Boeve, 28, and his wife Carla Van den Eeckhout, 37 were taken hostage by a gang of drug traffickers en route Fahraj-Zahedan road in the southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan on August 12 and later transferred to Pakistan.

Iranian interior ministry said that Boeve has been released and transferred to Iran as a result of efforts made by the Interior ministry’s security department and the security council of Sistan and Balouchestan Province.

The freed Belgian would soon be handed over to his country’s officials, the report added.

While Carla was released by Iranian security forces a few days after the hostage taking incident, efforts to release her husband lead to nowhere for weeks.

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